Maryland Police Conduct Another Mistaken “No Knock” Raid on a House, Bust Down Front Door, and Later Ticket Owner for Having a Door Laying on This Front Yard

250px-swat_teamAndrew Leonard, 33, is understandably ticked. Police in Baltimore conducted a mistaken “no knock” raid on the wrong house: busting through his front door, handcuffing him, and interrogating him and his wife about his relationship with a drug dealer who he has never met. They had the wrong address. Now, after refusing repeatedly demanded to pay for his front door, the city has ticketed him for leaving a door on his front lawn.

CATO has a study showing hundreds of these abusive raids and the increased in “no knock” searches which judges have been robotically approving any time detectives mention drugs. The paper is Radley Balko’s Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. For prior such stories, click here.

Leonard has been entering and exiting his home as he demanded that the city at least replace his front door. The city refused to pay for the rent because it insisted that the raid was not mistaken: his address was the one on the search warrant. It was simply the wrong address. While he also called the bulk trash collection office for the door, they failed to come. However, city inspectors did come and gave him a $50 fine for leaving the door on the front yard.

After publicity, the Mayor is now saying that she will guarantee reimbursement. However, she has not indicated that any effort will be made to punish those responsible for the mistaken raid or the people who insisted that search was not mistaken simply because the wrong address was put on a warrant.

For the full story, click here.

25 thoughts on “Maryland Police Conduct Another Mistaken “No Knock” Raid on a House, Bust Down Front Door, and Later Ticket Owner for Having a Door Laying on This Front Yard”

  1. Bron,

    You’re assuming I have opinions that I don’t. I just said that not ALL threats to freedom are from the gov’t. Monopolies are a very serious threat to personal freedom.

  2. Gyges:

    the most substantial threat to freedom does indeed come from government and it’s policies. Our freedom, in my mind, is directly inversely proportional to the size of government. the larger the government the less free we are.

  3. Bron,

    I’ll drink to that, as long as there’s the caveat that not all threats to freedom come from the government.

  4. MikeS:

    you are right, it is neither a conservative nor liberal issue. Or at least it should not be. Which is what I was trying to point out in a not so subtle manor. There are many attacks on individual liberty from the left and right and in the end whatever makes us less free should be opposed.

  5. Whoever first invented no knock warrants really needs a punch in the mouth. I am a law abiding citizen (for the most part). If someone knocks down my front door, I’m going for a loaded weapon and I’m preparing to use it. Even if I see “POLICE” or whatever written on the chest of these men and I then decide not to fire, I am still holding a weapon pointed at a law enforcement officer. Personally, if I was in his shoes I would shoot me. The cops kill people in my town using no knock warrants. Last year they killed a mother who was home alone with her kids. The “drug dealer” they were searching for wasn’t even home. The “drug dealer” was caught a few hours later with a couple ounces of marijuana. Dead bodies for a few ounces of pot. It really is a shame that in a country of so many well educated people that very few are willing to stand up and identify the real threat this country faces: the militarization of the police force.

  6. “I’ve long wondered how much the war on drugs served as a model for the war on terror.”

    Great point and food for thought.

  7. “I will bet you 20 bucks that the judge is to the left of center. If he is not let me know your address and a crisp new twenty will be in the mail by the end of today.”

    On this type of issue you need to break free of the conservative/liberal mindset which seems to permeate your point of view. This is neither a conservative, liberal nor libertarian issue. This is an issue of whether we want a government that forces the people to knuckle under to authority, or not? In this context, with recent history in tow, it is much more likely that this type of insanity has been pushed by fake conservatives, whose road to power comes from terrifying people of everything. These ego driven authoritarians have bullied the phony War on Drugs into a position where legal officialdom of all political stripes are afraid to be called “soft on crime.” This has been a Republican tactic since Nixon.

  8. Mathew N,

    Why do you think that they used the rhetoric of calling it a war? History has shown, if you want people to quietly give up rights the best way is to convince them it’s to protect them from some outside group. In this case using war automatically conveys all that. There’s also the added benefit of making it much more of a patriotic issue than you would get if it was simply thought of as a criminal issue.

    I’ve long wondered how much the war on drugs served as a model for the war on terror.

  9. Good Morning everyone,

    The No knock warrant is crap. The purpose is to get the people up from the seats, a little off balance and then the cops charge in.
    A number of law enforcements officers use it woefully for the wrong purpose. The courts keep allowing them to do it because no one wants to be seen a soft on crime. It is ok so long as it ain’t my house they are doing that to.

    The problem with elected official and appointed judges are the same. It does not matter a bad judge or a pro-prostitution judge is still that. I believe a number of studies have been conducted and one is the Missouri Plan. No I am not confusing the compromise in that, that caussed us as much pain as the curent Bushit is.

    If they have made a mistake, they have made a mistake. Look at Moates and that Office is Dallas.

    He had some unresolved issues that eventually took him down to primarily road patrol.

  10. rafflaw, I wonder if there is any correlation between a higher approval of these “no knock” raids by judges in states where judges are elected and not appointed?

  11. I’ve always thought that the police state is a good place for liberals and conservatives to come together!

  12. Bron

    We appear to be in substantial agreement. Thanks for your reply.

  13. rCAMPBELL:

    You are correct on all counts, I was merely pointing out that liberal judges are just as guilty as conservative judges in allowing this type of thing to go on.

    As far as the voting goes, I tend to think that what happened was not a sea change to the left but a denunciation of the Bush policies and the war in general. It is too early to tell if the US is going to continue to the left.

    Personally I was against the Patriot act and again I point out that it (the passage of said act) did not happen in a purely republican congress and that democrats as well voted for it.

    So I believe that Neo-Cons and Neo-Libs are equally at fault for the direction our country is/has taking/taken.

    The police are definitely out of control and need to be reigned in, this story is an example of an over reaching government and is detrimental to all.

  14. Bron

    First of all, the political left is THIS side of the aisle. The country has redefined what is considered “the other side of the aisle” as of November, ’08.

    Secondly, the political leaning of a judge or government officials has nothing to do with Rafflaw’s comment or the story itself, but more about the state-of-seige mentality of police departments around the country. If the police (hardly ever a bastion of liberal thought) ask for a warrant, they get it. The political leanings of an individual judge is irrelevant. This uber-militarism is, without question in my mind, an outgrowth of the paranoia held by and instilled in our society by neocons since Sept. ’01.

    Thirdly, may I be so bold as to point out that the having voted for President Obama 53%-47%, the state of Virginia is rapidly changing it’s voting patterns and attitudes to be more reflective of THIS side of the aisle.

  15. Rafflaw:

    may I be so bold as to point to the fact that we here in Virginia call Maryland the Peoples Republic of due to the overwhelming number of people from the other side of the aisle in government. And that a fair number of judges in this country also come from that side.

    I will bet you 20 bucks that the judge is to the left of center. If he is not let me know your address and a crisp new twenty will be in the mail by the end of today.

    I would also like to point out that it is becoming abundantly clear that as far a the torture issue goes the left appears to have a dog in this hunt as well.

  16. Just saw this update on the saga of Ms. Saberi:

    Lawyer: Iran to free jailed American journalist

    May 11, 7:37 AM (ET)
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – An American journalist jailed in Iran will be freed Monday and can leave the country immediately, her lawyer said Monday after an appeals court suspended her eight-year prison sentence…..

    Seems several of us correctly predicted Iran would ultimately take this course.

  17. This rash of improper raids on citizen’s homes is a symptom of a bigger problem. Even judges seem to be afraid of asking questions of police or saying no to them, in fear of being accused of looking weak on crime. This is the same conservative mentality that allows and condones torture in our name. If I don’t do it, it is not happening.

  18. Accountability is only for the citizenry not its servants. Interesting world in Baltimore.

  19. The War on Drugs is a war with no accountability. If there was accountability at any level, the “war” would have been over long ago. Holding people accountable for mistakes, shortcomings, and the lack of results would be dangerous to those who push this disastrous and unsuccessful war upon the American populace.

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